File picture: Dumisani Sibeko/Independent Media
Johannesburg - Mozambique has further cut electricity supplies to South Africa after a fault at the Cahora Bassa hydropower dam, the sub-Saharan region’s biggest.

Eskom has been receiving 900 MW of power from the dam out of a possible 1 300 MW because of a fault at one of the turbines, the utility said in reply to questions. That is a drop from the 1 150 MW Cahora Bassa had already reduced supply to because of falling water levels at the dam.

The fault “has resulted in one of the Cahora Bassa generators being out of service,” Eskom said on Tuesday. “It is expected to return in late January. While it does reduce Eskom’s supply capacity, it is not sufficient to materially change our national current supply-demand balance.”


More than 80 percent of Eskom’s installed capacity of 42 000 MW comprises coal-fired power plants. Its generation capacity plus imports and other purchases including those from independent renewable-energy producers are forecast to increase to 50 556 MW this year, according to a report posted on the national energy regulator’s website.

Eskom’s energy availability factor, which measures how much electricity generation it can use and excludes capacity that has broken down or is out for planned maintenance, reached 81 percent in June, the highest since July 2013.